Every year, approximately 30,000 babies are born in the U.S. with a birth injury. To put this into perspective, that means a baby is born with a birth injury every 20 minutes. In many cases, a birth injury is the result of medical negligence. When doctors, nurses, surgeons, midwives, hospital staff, or pharmacists breach a duty of care in their diagnosis or treatment of the infant or the mother before, during, or after the baby’s birth, it can injure the mother or the infant.
At the Law Office of Nancy Miller and Mark Miller, we look at all the facts, evaluate the actions and omissions of the healthcare providers owing a duty to the client, and identify potentially responsible parties. We then hold them accountable for their actions and help our clients get the compensation they deserve. If you or your baby suffers a birth injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, contact us right away to schedule a free consultation with a Maryland birth injury attorney in our office.
Types of Birth Injuries
For every 1,000 babies delivered in the U.S., only about 6.6 of them will be born with a birth injury. Unfortunately, 80% of those injuries are classified as “moderate to severe” and can be life-altering. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, many are the result of medical professional error. The most common birth injuries that are typically caused by medical negligence include:
- Brachial Plexus Injuries. This type of injury includes Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy, which occur when the bundle of nerves responsible for moving the baby’s arm and hand is injured. The most common reason for this type of injury is shoulder dystocia, which happens when an infant’s shoulder catches behind or under the mother’s pubic bone during birth. The physician or midwife pulls too hard or in an incorrect manner during the delivery of the baby.
- Facial Paralysis. This type of injury typically occurs when physicians use forceps or a vacuum extraction tool to pull the baby out and apply too much pressure on the infant’s face, causing nerve damage. It can sometimes result in the infant being unable to close his or her eye on the face’s affected side. In some cases, there may be no movement at all on the affected side. These symptoms may subside over time if the injury is not too severe. In more severe cases, however, there may be total and permanent paralysis.
- Brain Injuries. These injuries lead to medical disorders such as cerebral palsy and chronic seizures, which are usually caused by oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation can happen when a physician fails to correctly monitor the infant before, during, or after birth. It may be caused by failing to discover or timely fix umbilical cord issues, allowing the baby to remain too long in the birth canal, or failing to order a necessary Cesarean section.
- Fractures. Clavicle fractures are the most common type of fracture to occur during delivery. This can happen when a physician or midwife pulls the infant too hard while he or she is in a breech position. It can also occur if they forcibly pull on an infant’s shoulder during a prolonged and difficult delivery. Fortunately, this condition usually heals without complication.
- Cephalohematoma. Cephalohematoma is an injury that manifests itself by bleeding underneath the skull. It most often appears several hours after birth as a raised bump on the top of the infant’s head. This type of injury is usually caused by the doctor or midwife’s use of tools during birth. It usually clears up within a few months, but it can present other risks such as jaundice, anemia, hypotension, and even, on rare occasions, meningitis.
- Caput Succedaneum. This type of birth injury shows itself in the form of intense swelling of the soft tissues in an infant’s scalp. The most common cause of this condition is a doctor or midwife’s improper use of a vacuum extraction tool during birth. The swelling typically reduces itself within a few days. However, infants who develop Caput Succedaneum are at risk for jaundice and kernicterus, which can cause brain damage.
Contact a Maryland Birth Injury Attorney
If you or your baby suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, contact us right away to schedule a free consultation. Trust a Maryland birth injury attorney with a proven track record of successfully representing victims of birth injury and medical malpractice for over 40 years. If you believe you a claim, contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation today.